Media General Consolidates Copy Editing, Page Design at 3 Metro Papers
Media General Inc. said today in a press release published on Romenesko that it will consolidate copy editing and page design for its three metro newspapers, The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune, Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch and Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal.
The consolidated metro editing and design operation will have two groups, one in Tampa, Fla., and one in Richmond, Va. The operation will be led by a single managing editor located at the Richmond facility. Each of the two groups will have primary responsibility for particular sections and pages for all three metro newspapers. The next steps are to select the managing editor, install common production software and establish common design elements that will facilitate production efficiencies. The consolidated operation is expected to start up in the third quarter of this year.
The metro operation will be the third of its kind for Media General. The first became operational in Lynchburg , Va. , in April 2009. The second started up in Hickory , N.C. , in October, 2009. At this time, 12 of Media General’s 23 metro and community newspapers are either part of or transitioning to a consolidated editing and design operation. The company expects to have all of its newspapers in a consolidated editing and design operation by the end of the year. Once all newspapers have completed the transition, Media General expects to realize annualized cost savings of more than $1 million from efficiencies related to this initiative, starting in 2011. The company intends to use a portion of the savings to focus on intensified local news coverage.
“Our consolidated editing and design operations allow our newsrooms to focus on strong local news reporting. Stories will be edited once rather than multiple times, and we can take advantage of economies of scale and centralization of top talent,” said Donna Reed, Media General’s Vice President of Content. “Our customers will be unaffected by this internal process change and all news decisions will continue to be made by our local editors,” said Ms. Reed.
Over the past 10 years, Media General has consolidated and centralized a number of broadcast functions, including traffic, master control and graphics, and newspaper functions, including printing and distribution and various call centers. This approach allows the company’s properties to focus on their local communities while creating resource groups that both increase quality and provide significant process efficiencies.
The Lynchburg editing and design center produces the pages for The ( Lynchburg ) News & Advance, Danville Register & Bee, and the company’s Rockingham, N.C. , community newspapers. The (Manassas , Va.) News & Messenger and The (Waynesboro , Va.) News Virginian are in the process of transitioning there.
The Hickory, N.C. , editing and design center produces the pages for the Hickory Daily Record, Statesville Record & Landmark, The (Morganton) News Herald, The McDowell News, and the weekly Mooresville Tribune. The Florence (S.C.) Morning News and (Concord & Kannapolis , N.C.) Independent Tribune are in the process of transitioning there.